This report provides an update on implementation of the Treaty of 24 November 2003 between France and Australia on Cooperation in the Maritime Areas Adjacent to the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF) at Heard and McDonald Islands, as well as the Agreement of 2007 on the Treaty's implementation. It summarises observations made by France with regard to illegal fishing from 15 July 2014 to 15 July 2015 in Statistical Subarea 58.6 and Divisions 58.5.1 and 58.5.2 which include the Crozet, Kerguelen and Heard and McDonald EEZs, and in international waters in Statistical Divisions 58.4.3 and 58.4.4, which include BANZARE, Elan, Lena and Ob Banks.
In the French EEZs, where the surveillance system was in operation for the whole period, no observations of IUU fishing activity were noted or reported, although fishing gear not belonging to licensed vessels was found. Furthermore, no IUU fishing activity was directly observed by France in the above-mentioned international areas.
Further to COMM CIRC 15/31 regarding the sighting of two unknown vessels on 20 February 2015 in Division 58.4.1 by the South Korean vessel Kingstar, France informed CCAMLR Members (COMM CIRC 15/55 of 28 May 2015) that there was every indication that one of the vessels was the Japanese whaling vessel Yushin Maru.
During CCAMLR's Annual Meeting in 2014, following a proposal by SCIC, France and the Secretariat decided to develop, in 2015, a six-month pilot initiative to use satellite surveillance. Under this partnership to strengthen the fight against IUU fishing, France’s in-kind contribution to the initiative consists in making a number of resources available to the Secretariat at no charge, notably use of the Kerguelen transmission station to receive and transmit satellite data relating to Elan Bank.
During first half of 2015, joint patrols with Australia recommenced, with the Australian patrol vessel Ocean Shield carrying out its patrols with two French fishery inspectors on board. The implementation of the Treaty and the Agreement between France and Australia will continue in 2017 with the commissioning of two new vessels.